As consumers’ shopping habits shift online and the global ecommerce market share rises, online payment methods are changing along with it.

As of 2019, 41.8 percent of total ecommerce expenditure worldwide is paid through digital and mobile wallets, making it the most popular online payment method among global consumers. 

Not only do digital and mobile wallets have a strong lead over all other types of online payment methods, but it’s also expected to cement its top position in the coming years as the usage of other online payment options decline. 

By 2023, more than half (52.2 percent) of all ecommerce spend is expected to be carried out with digital and mobile wallets. 

The second and third most popular online payment methods are credit cards and debit cards, which are currently used for 24.2 percent and 10.6 percent of global ecommerce sales respectively. Though these methods will continue to be popular online payment options for consumers, their combined shares of online payment options will fall from the current 34.8 percent to 27.6 percent in 2023.

Bank transfer, charge and deferred debit card, and cash on delivery make up the top five payment methods online worldwide in 2019. 

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Top Online Payment Methods in North America

Top Online Payment Methods in North America (2019) chart

As the digital and mobile wallets strengthen their stronghold as the top online payment option, over in North America, credit cards continue to be the go-to payment method for ecommerce payments as they have been for decades.

Experts attribute this to the strong attachment and loyalty of North American consumers to credit cards and a general unwillingness to adopt innovation. 

In 2019, more than a third (34.4 percent) of ecommerce expenditure is paid for with credit cards. It is also the top payment method for point of sale purchases. 

However, the signs of North America’s declining use of credit cards are clear as current data points to the growing trend of paying online with digital wallets catching on in North America. 

In 2019, digital wallets accounted for 23.7 percent of total ecommerce payments—up from 20 percent a year ago.

By 2023, digital wallets will outrank credit cards to become the most popular online payment method with 36.6 percent of ecommerce spend in North America expected to be paid for with digital wallets, compared to 26.8 percent for credit cards.

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